Are your iPhone speakers sounding muffled, crackled, buzzy, or distorted?
It doesn’t matter which iPhone model you have; the experience could be better.
For some, the sound gets distorted at higher volumes; for others, it is generally poor at any volume level, or the speakers don’t work. It can happen on either your upper or bottom iPhone speaker or both.
Still, even when you connect your AirPods or any other external speaker, the same bad audio seems to be transferred to them.
I recently ran into an issue with my iPhone X, and as a person who listens to lots of music and podcasts, this ruined my experience.
I rushed to the internet to find out what was wrong and didn’t find a direct answer. All articles were either old, or the solutions didn’t work for me.
Luckily, after all the try and fail, I found a fix that worked for me.
In this article, I will take you through the possible causes of iPhone speakers sounding muffled, buzzy, or distorted and how to fix this issue.
Pro Tip: The fixes mentioned in this article work for all the previous models of iPhones, such as the iPhone 6, 7, and 8, and the newer versions of the iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, and the iPhone 14, etc.
This blog post is based on research from various videos I watched, blog posts and articles I read, and the responses I got from forums (Reddit and Quora) on what worked for other users.
I have arranged the fixes from the simple ones to the complex ones.
Let’s get started!
What’s Causing Your iPhone Speakers to Sound Muffled and Distorted?
- Software issues
- Broken Speakers
- Phone case blocking speakers
- Water in speakers
- Particles, dirt, or debris, blocking your speakers
Besides, before you rush to a technician, you can carry out the following fixes to help fix the audio quality of your iPhone speakers.
Below is the YouTube video that was helpful to me in the process of fixing my audio.
How To Fix Muffled, Distorted on Your iPhone
1. Check Your Sound Settings
You need to ensure that your iPhone’s sound settings are working properly.
- Head to Settings
- Select Sounds (Sounds & Haptics)
- Slide the Ringer and Alerts sliders to investigate your sound settings.
2. Remove Your Phone Case
Your phone case may be blocking the outlets for sound on your iPhone. If you are still determining whether it is your phone case, remove it first and test whether the sound is bad.
3. Restart Your iPhone
Turning off your iPhone and restarting it is a very underrated but effective fix.
- Simply hold down the Power button on the right side of your iPhone.
- A display screen will show up with a slider to Power off your device.
- Drag the slider to the right to Power off your device. Allow your iPhone to stay off for about 10 seconds.
- Turn it back on by holding the Power button.
Another way to reboot your iPhone is by heading to Settings > General > Shutdown > Drag the slider button to the right to turn off your iPhone.
If the issue concerns your software or settings restarting your iPhone can help fix crackling or muffled sound issues.
4. Clean Your iPhone Speakers.
Your iPhone speakers might be blocked by dust or foreign particles, causing distorted or crackling sounds.
Remove the phone case, if any.
Get a new toothbrush and clean up both the bottom and upper speakers. Also, clean up the
Clear up any dirt blocking your iPhone speakers or microphone at the back camera and test the sound.
5. Change Your Music Player
Have you tried switching from your default music player? If you use Apple Music for streaming music, consider switching to Spotify and see if the issue persists.
This can help fix the quality of your sound.
However, if it doesn’t continue with other fixes, as explained below.
6. Check Your AirPods or any Other BT Speaker.
First, you want to ensure that it is not your AirPods/earbuds with the muffled/distorted sound.
If your iPhone sounds buzzy even when AirPods or external speakers are connected, ensure that your AirPods are working well.
This indicates that the issue of your iPhone speakers sounding muffled is probably due to a software or settings glitch.
Test your AirPods with another device and determine whether the sound is distorted or muffled. If they are, the problem is not with your iPhone speakers but your AirPods or Bluetooth speakers.
If they sound okay on other devices, proceed to the next fix below.
7. Check Your Audio/Visual Settings
The audio/visual settings on your iPhone contain further configurations for controlling your iPhone’s sound.
Under the Audio/Visual Settings on your iPhone;
To access the Audio/Visual settings on your iPhone
- Open Settings
- Select Accessibility
- Tap Audio/Visual
- A menu with different audio settings will show up
Ensure that the audio balance slider is set in the middle. Users who reported no sound from their bottom or upper iPhone speaker found this to be the issue. Ensure that the slider is set in the middle to balance the sound and distribute it equally to both speakers.
Mono audio. If the toggle for mono audio is off, try turning it on and see whether this can help fix the issue. Suppose it is on; turn it off. Test your sound and know whether it has been fixed.
8. Update Your iPhone
Your phone might be running on an outdated OS, causing your iPhone to conflict with the sound quality.
Apple releases timely software updates for their supported iPhones, keeping their devices stable.
If you are running on old OS software, consider updating to the latest iOS software and check whether this will fix the issue of your iPhone speakers sounding muffled.
To update your iPhone;
- Head to Settings
- General > Software Update
- Under the subsequent menu, you can know whether your phone needs an update.
If an update is available, consider updating your iPhone iOS. This will help you fix your sound.
9. Switch from Beta to a Stable Version of iOs.
You may have enrolled for the beta version of Apple’s software updates. Beta versions help you test features first before anyone does.
Although it is cool to try out new features before their release, beta software versions are always buggy and unstable.
Consider switching to the normal stable software updates, which will help fix the issues of crackling or buzzy sounds on your iPhone Speakers.
If your phone is up to date, proceed to the next fix.
10. Reset All Settings
Your iPhone might have run into a software glitch interfering with your speaker sound.
This is the fix that did the magic for me. My iPhone had run into a software glitch that made my speakers sound bad.
My sound was not only distorted externally, but it was the same story even when I connected my AirPods Pro 2 or any other Bluetooth speaker.
Reset All Settings will clear up basic preferential settings such as the control centre, notification, and permission settings on your iPhone.
Do not worry; you will not lose your photos, documents, music, or other stored data.
However, after the Reset, you will have to give apps permissions and enable notifications for individual apps freshly.
To Reset All Settings
- Head to Settings
- General > Transfer or Reset iPhone
- Select the option of Reset> Reset All Settings
- Your iPhone will prompt you to input your passcode, and it will Restart.
After the restart, your speakers should be working just fine. Test with your AirPods, and the sound will be okay.
Resetting All Settings helped me fix my iPhone sound, and I did not lose any grain of data.
11. Perform a Factory Reset
If you have reset your settings and nothing seems to work, you may proceed to perform a factory reset.
Ensure that you back up all your content, such as files, images, and documents, to your iCloud.
To restore your iPhone to Factory default;
- Simply head to Settings
- Select General
- Scroll down and tap Reset
- From the options, select Erase all content and Settings.
- Enter your passcode if it is required.
- Then tap the option to confirm that you want to erase your iPhone.
This option will clear and erase everything from your iPhone storage, such as photos, documents, files, apps, and other stored information.
Finally, check if the sound on your iPhone has been fixed.
12. Replace Your iPhone Speakers.
After trying out all the fixes in this post, nothing seems to work, and you should consider replacing your iPhone speakers with a certified Apple repair shop.
If your Apple warranty is still running, head out and have your iPhone fixed.
If it expired, you should go an apple certified technician to help you fix the issue of your iPhone speakers sounding muffled or distorted.
Check Out Other Related iPhone Articles
- Fix Missed Call Notifications Not Showing Up iPhone
- Take a Screenshot on iPhone
- How To Bold, Strikethrough, and italicize text on iPhone
In a nutshell, I have covered various ways how you can fix your iPhone speakers if they sound muffled, crackled, distorted, or buzzy.
This problem can be caused by issues with your iPhone’s software or faulty hardware (damaged speakers).
The above fixes are based on the extensive research I carried out on the internet, via forums, and until I got a fix that finally worked for me.
I hope you found this article helpful, and now your iPhone speakers should be sounding just fine.
Let me know in the comment section which fixes worked for you.
If you still have issues let me know in the comment section.
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